Blue Jays’ third baseman Josh Donaldson exited in the sixth inning of Sunday’s loss to the Rays after experiencing right calf tightness on a close play at first base. Donaldson was seen limping off the field after the play and immediately headed for the clubhouse. No further details have been revealed about the nature of Donaldson’s injury or the timetable for his return to the field.
It’s presumed that the tightness is linked to the same right calf strain that kept the infielder sidelined through spring training. Whether this is a re-aggravation of the same injury or a new problem for Donaldson, however, it seems likely that another disabled list stint awaits him in the near future. The loss of Donaldson for any length of time would be a considerable blow to the Blue Jays’ lineup, which has gone 1-5 in their first week and could benefit from the continued use of their most productive hitter.
Donaldson slashed .284/.404/.549 with 37 home runs and a .953 OPS for the Blue Jays in 2016. He went 1-for-3 against the Rays on Sunday with his second home run of the season.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets may move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base when he returns from the disabled list. Cabrera has been on the disabled list since June 13 with a sprained left thumb, but he’s expected to be activated on Friday.
Cabrera, 31, last played second base in 2014 with the Nationals. He has played shortstop exclusively as a Met the last two seasons. Jose Reyes would continue to play shortstop if the Mets were to go through with the position change. Cabrera would displace T.J. Rivera, who has been playing second base in place of the injured Neil Walker.
In 196 plate appearances this season, Cabrera is hitting .244/.321/.392 with six home runs and 20 RBI. He has made 11 defensive errors, which is tied for the third-most among shortstops behind Tim Anderson (16) and Dansby Swanson (12).
Brewers closer Corey Knebel set a modern major league record for relievers to start a season, as Thursday’s appearance marked his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout. He set down the side in order in the ninth inning, striking Josh Bell out to start the frame.
Aroldis Chapman held the record previously, recording a strikeout in his first 37 appearances of the season in 2014 with the Reds.
Knebel, 25, has flown under the radar despite having an incredibly good season. He moved into the closer’s role in mid-May when Neftali Feliz, now a free agent, struggled. After Thursday’s appearance, Knebel is 12-for-15 in save chances with a 0.96 ERA and a 65/17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.